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Thread: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

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    Default Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forum And I'm really looking for some advice regarding tail amputation because I'm very unsure what to do.

    My beautiful, healthy bulldog boy, Bruiser, is 6 months old and is having a really tough time with his very tight tail. It is very inverted and causing him a lot of discomfort, mostly in the evenings, he will spin on his bum and try to get to it to bite it. Of course I have researched this procedure a lot, and read experiences of people who have had this operation done on their Bulldogs and every person has said its the best thing they've ever done. However.. I have two main issues which I would really like people's thoughts on as I feel Bruisers situation is a little different to the other bulldogs I've read about.

    Firstly, Bruisers tail pocket is not, and never has been infected. Everyone who's had this done has said their bulldog was suffering from constant infections. Bruisers tail pocket is so clean - no odours or redness or discharge or mess. We had always been aware of tail pockets in Bulldogs before we got one and we clean it and dry it daily. The only thing we get come off it is lots of hair, which makes me think that it is making him really itchy. Despite no infections I have to re-emphasise it is VERY tight, and obviously causing him a lot of discomfort.

    My second issue is the, what I feel is utter rubbish, that our local vet fed us when we took him yesterday to get her opinion. We are lucky enough to have bought Bruiser from the most fantastic breeder who I still speak to nearly every day and have become good friends with her, and she cares so much about her pups. She sees a vet an hour and a half away who knows a lot about Bulldogs and is really good with them. She took Bruiser to see him a couple of months ago and he said the tail was tight but not the worst he'd seen. He said amputation was an option but as he didn't think it was that bad he would try to maintain it with cleaning daily with salt water. We have done this religiously since he said about it, but of course he doesn't see how much it upsets Bruiser at home, and it has only bothered him more and more as the weeks go by. So we thought we'd take him to our local vets to get another opinion. She was barely interested in the reason why we were there and just wanted to tell us how 'deformed' Bulldogs were and lecture us for buying one when I told her I'd researched the breed for months before buying one ("and you STILL bought one after reading about them?" Were her words) In fact his tail was the last thing she (barely) looked at, after poking round in his face folds which I told her were fine and never caused any problems as I always keep them clean and dry, and telling us he would get cysts in his paws because Bulldogs are so deformed what I wanted was her opinion on whether we should go ahead and consider amputating it, but she said it was a terrible idea and that he was likely to get nerve damage and be left incontinent. She expressed his anal glands to see if that would help (it hasn't) and said she could actually feel his tail pushing against her finger when she inserted it into his anus. Which says to me that it's extremely inverted. She then called me again today to give me a price for the procedure (not that I would ever take him there now) and has now suggested it could be mange!! I will tell you now that Bruiser has the most wonderful skin and coat and he does NOT have mange. I feed him a natural diet and I'm forever packing my shopping trolley full of vitamin rich foods for healthy skin and his breeders vet commented on how fantastic his coat is. From what I have read online, it is actually a low risk procedure, even if it is a major one, so I'd really like someone to tell me if she is talking a load of rubbish or not? I left the practice feeling very upset and even further from the answer to Bruiser's tail problem all she wanted to do was be negative about the breed, and us for buying one, and suggested every ridiculous thing it could be rather than the fact that his tail is clearly inverted and very tight.

    Unfortunately, the vet my breeder uses is on long term sick until at least July, but we don't want to make Bruiser wait that long. We can't bear to see him in discomfort and not being able to help him. There is another vet there who is also quite good with Bulldogs, who she is taking Bruiser to see next Friday to get a third opinion and we will try and make our decision from that. But anyone who has had this done, or can offer some advice re what I've said, I would really appreciate it thank you x

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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    First of.... welcome to EBN!

    Second... you need to find a new local vet as the one you are telling us about is a jerk! Now, breathe.... there are a few of us that have had this done to their babies. I have been in two different situations with two of my babies, but one thing to keep in mind is your baby is still growing so it may not be really bad now or have had an infection, as he grows he may.

    I'll tell you about Banks first, her tail was very very tight but it was due to extra skin that would swell when temperatures were high or her allergies flared up... so, for her 9 yrs of life, we had to do all the daily maintenance as you currently are --- amputation was not necessary, but it was an option we just decided not to do it.

    Now, there is our boy Lambeau, he is currently 15 mths old and he had to have his tail removed at 8 months old. Similar to you, it was really tight and our vet said at the age of 4 months, 'very tight under there, we'll need to watch it'. At 8 months, one day I went to clean it after dinner and it was a HOT MESS, very deep bad infection that just appeared.... no warning, no slowly getting bad, it went from nothing to all heck in one day,... smell, blood, sloppy sticky mess.

    My point is, every dog is different, but with Lambeau it was apparent at that point the tail could not stay and it to be removed. We scheduled the removal for two weeks after that as the infection had to be cleared up first.

    Now, I have to say for Lambeau it was 100% the right thing to do at the right timing.

    Good luck... find a better vet or heck, drive the distance to the good one you have through yor breeder. We currently drive an hour one way for our vet ... trust is hard to find these days, so if you thrust them, it is worth the time/drive.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Thank you Christine that's really interesting about a sudden nasty infection from nowhere, it's crazy how that can happen from nothing.. We have been lucky so far with Bruiser in that respect but then he is still a puppy and like you say, it could just appear when we least expect it. I just can't bear to see my boy uncomfortable, he will spin on it and paw at us and when we go to pet him he just lays down and shows us his bottom as if to say 'help me' it's nearly always in the evening and late at night that it bothers him, he'll be having a nap and will suddenly wake up really uncomfortable. Though my neighbour looks after him during the day while we are at work and she says he does it with her sometimes too.

    People like her don't deserve to be vets! she had no concern for Bruiser at all, she didn't have a nice word to say about him. He is a perfect bulldog, his breathing is superb and he's really healthy but everything to her was just wrong simply because of his breed

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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kattlsutherland View Post
    Thank you Christine that's really interesting about a sudden nasty infection from nowhere, it's crazy how that can happen from nothing.. We have been lucky so far with Bruiser in that respect but then he is still a puppy and like you say, it could just appear when we least expect it. I just can't bear to see my boy uncomfortable, he will spin on it and paw at us and when we go to pet him he just lays down and shows us his bottom as if to say 'help me' it's nearly always in the evening and late at night that it bothers him, he'll be having a nap and will suddenly wake up really uncomfortable. Though my neighbour looks after him during the day while we are at work and she says he does it with her sometimes too.

    People like her don't deserve to be vets! she had no concern for Bruiser at all, she didn't have a nice word to say about him. He is a perfect bulldog, his breathing is superb and he's really healthy but everything to her was just wrong simply because of his breed

    I tagged two others members that I remember had their babies tail removed too so they can share their experience. Continue what you are doing, you are on the right path for him.... clean and dry is best, in the end as he grows, it may have to be done, but for now... keep cleaning and then make the decision based on his quality of life.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    e.

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    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Hi there! We were in the same situation. Vet said his tail was VERY VERY tight and very deep. Not knowing anything about English Bulldogs and this was well before EBN..... we did it. He pulled thru like the champ he is and I'm glad we did it. Our other bulldog, Orion, has a tail pocket that gives her hell often. Sometimes it's for no reason at all. To maintain it...we give her 2 Benadryl every morning and night. We have mal-a-ket wipes.... and just recently our vet suggested hydrocortisone cream when her tail is bugging her. Orion is quite vocal....will NOT stop barking if she is itchy at all back there.

    Like any surgery, there can be complications. We never experienced them. Vegas was 7 months old when we did his. At 10 months old he was diagnosed with epilepsy. More than likely, there is no connection, but I know of 3 other people who have had major surgery on their bulldogs then a few months later they developed epilepsy. But...... I know more people who have done major surgery and not had any issues or any problems.


    Have you tried benadryl?


    Here are some photos of Vegas before and after. -5-days-surgery-jpg-16-days-surgery-jpg-16-days-jpg-18-weeks-surgery-jpg-3-jpg-4-jpg-5-jpg-8-jpg-9-jpg


    It's one of the best decisions we've made for him. Orion is a hot mess when her tail bothers her. When she's a hot mess...the whole house suffers.

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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Hi Katt,

    my boy Finn had his tail amputated, I should say it was a "partial amputation". He also had the tightly wound corkscrew tail and his would get very painfully infected. The vet ended up removing approx. 3/4 of his tail and he's been doing wonderfully in that department ever since. I'm so sorry that Bruiser is undergoing the problem with his tail and that you had such a terrible experience with that vet who obviously has her own agenda, and that's good that you'll be getting a 3rd opinion next week!




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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Monty had a tight screw and deep pocket that we had a lot of problems with. His vet amputated a small portion of his tail and somehow reduced the deep pocket (I call it his cosmetic surgery!) and it has made a huge difference. No more infections or problems cleaning. You really can't tell that anything was done by looking at his tail but if his vet had recommended full amputation, we would have done it.

    I second everyone else, get rid of your nasty vet! And definitely have someone who is very familiar with the breed do the surgery, if that is what you decide.
    Chumly 2002-2014 A gentle soul and the love of my life.

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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    I would say find a good bully vet. We have one here and Lucy actually had part of her tail bone growing back into her bum. Out vet only took some of the bone out, pulled the skin from the pocket, taking it away, and left some skin there so she still has a tail, but now it doesn't bother her, nor do we need to clean it any longer. I hope you find a good bully vet so your bully can get the relief he needs.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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    Default Re: Tail amputation - looking for some advice please!

    Hi and welcome to EBN ! My Punk has - not a true corkscrew - but a tight "U" shaped tail. If I had done any work on her tail - I would have just taken off some of the tail - not a total amputation. But, I have been able to just clean it every day with an unscented baby wipe. So far, she has had no infections, though she will sit on the floor and do the "air biting" for a bit. At first I thought it was because her tail pocket was dirty, but now I know she is expressing her glands - ugh - especially on my shoes ! I wish you good luck on whatever decision you make and would definitely look for another vet !

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